Body & Fitness

The Anything But The Gym Girls try… snowboarding

The Anything But The Gym Girls' are on the hunt for fun fitness alternatives for those people who don't like the gym. This week, Sinead hits the slopes.

I grew up as an only child, so most of my childhood was spent playing PlayStation by myself. My favourite game was SSX (short for Snowboard Supercross), which involved racing down mountains at extreme speeds while performing ridiculous and spectacular tricks on a snowboard.

This was over ten years ago, but I’ll never forgot my passion for the (pretend) slopes. So I was super excited when I found out we were heading to Snowplanet for a real life snowboarding lesson.

On arrival, concerned about the cold and our lack of snowboarding experience and ability, we decided to nip off to the Snowplanet café for a quick whiskey and some curly fries – just like the Winter Olympians do.

After getting suited up in our padded outfits and massive boots, we were introduced to Sam – our hot, English instructor. I don’t actually remember a huge amount of the technique we were taught in the lesson, as I was fixated on beautiful Sam the whole time – but I will try my best to piece the day together.

We started off our snowboarding debut from a very small height, about four meters up from the bottom of the hill. Sam taught us how to strap our boots onto our boards properly, but because we were beginners we only strapped one foot on and left the other one to flail freely.

I think this was so we wouldn’t be petrified at having no way to leap off the board if we had a sudden panic attack mid-descent.

It worked fine for me, as (a semi-professional) I was capable of stopping myself with one foot – but poor Emma was wearing snowboarding pants that were extremely tight across the thighs (Beyoncé problems) so she had limited leg movement. This resulted in her doing the almost-splits every time she tried to stop herself going down the hill. Disastrous.

A silver lining for Emma however, was that Sam was super attentive to her the entire lesson, giving her encouragement and pep talks every five minutes, as well as holding her hands for most of the session (to stop her from falling over, which she did anyway).

As I was fairly confident at snowboarding, I was basically left to my own devices. I wasn’t jealous at all. Whatever.

Beautiful Sam then taught us how to how to do a special turning thing while zooming down the hill, which meant that we could gracefully turn a corner and slow down to a stop.

Emma was average at this as well, so there was more Beautiful Sam hand-holding, but I was pretty great. Sometimes I would fall down, but I bet Shaun White does too.

After I had mastered the turn-and-stop bit, I decided I was ready to move on to doing little jumps while zooming down the hill. And I bloody nailed them didn’t I?

I truly believe this is because of playing the PlayStation game all those years. Trust me parents, don’t ever encourage your kids to go outside and play sports, everything you need to know you can learn from video games.

Where do we do it: Snowplanet, 91 Small Road, Silverdale, Auckland.

Verdict: Fabulous day on the slopes, and a great way to pretend you’re in Queenstown for the weekend, because honestly, who can afford that?

We have a Snowplanet lesson, a day pass, ski and clothing hire for one person to win. To enter, visit our Facebook page.

And check back for part two next week, when the girls try skiing.

*Sinead and Emma are the Anything But The Gym girls. Bored with standard workouts, they have begun the hunt for new and fun ways to get fit. Follow their weekly adventures here, and in New Zealand Good Health Choices. If you have a suggestion for something interesting for them to try, email [email protected] with Anything But The Gym in the subject line.

The Anything But The Gym Girls are now on Instagram! Follow them @theanythingbutthegymgirls to keep up with their fitness adventures.*

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